After a temple marriage, 4 kids, over a hundred thousand of dollars and 40 years of faithful service, our family left the church. As one who was born into the church, for many years I have thanked God for my membership in the church. Our shelf broke and we found ourselves needing better safety after realizing our young son was probably transgender and would be deeply injured by the church. That led to a critical examination of that proverbial Mormon shelf. To our deep horror, the truth was not what we thought it was and our shelf did not survive the process. After a lifetime of programming, that left us paralyzed with fear about leaving but truth really did set us free.

It’s been 3 wonderful, amazing, rich and beautiful years now. As time wore off we felt the grip of unhealthy beliefs receding. I could never have imagined what and amazing freeing experience leaving the church would really be. Losing my extended family and the friends I had invested a lifetime with was very painful, but learning to know myself, to trust myself and learning about people from outside the bubble of Mormon thought, has been a rich, vitalizing experience. Not having to work my views into the church’s framework, having the freedom to change my mind, to be me and pursue my passions… priceless. With the extra time and money we have been able to create family experiences I had previously only known in my dreams. Here I am taking my Son and Daughter down a family “High Adventure” trip down the Middle Fork of the Salmon, a chance I never thought I would ever get.

Now instead of running off to meetings, we spend time together, we have down time, we make good memories together. We choose what works for our family, together and for the members instead of what the church tells us or what works best for the church. I have had the time and resources to heal and become more whole which I never could do running around supporting the church. We are healthier and happier both personally and as a family. And we don’t have the pressures of the church’s views tearing apart relationships and impeding our ability to love people or be our authentic self.

It’s been wonderful. The hardest thing I ever had to do was leave the church and it was the best decision of my life.

A long time Mormon family in WA

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